Designer Feature: Palm Swimwear

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The PALM swimwear woman is one who appreciates fine, timeless and minimal designs. She is a traveler who doesn’t go anywhere without her classic cut bikinis, and evokes an elegant unique look by the pool or beach side.

PALM is an independent swimwear label, created in Western Australia who is devoted to providing carefully constructed swimwear from high-luxe Italian lycras. By using these sustainable fabrics, PALM reflects a passion for the basics – “clean lines, simple palettes and classic style”. Above all, PALM brings customers comfort, shape retention and the highest standard of quality wearable swimwear.

Kat, designer and label founder, has always had an appetite for art and fashion. “Everything from people, places, music and memories” inspired Kat to study Fashion Design and the Arts. After working in the industry for some time she then started designing for herself, and later moved to Bali with her partner to begin working together on bringing her sketches to life. Kat also explains that “Of course being a swimwear brand, I (Kat) am heavily inspired by the ocean and ‘that feeling’ of summer and travel”.

When designing Kat says that she is always trying to visualise what the garment would like on herself, then combines this with what she find inspiring on the runway at the time. Kat explains that PALM is no ‘fast-fashion’ movement and still retains its level of uniqueness along with classic timeless designs. She also believes “it is important to support independent brands which tends to be much more personal, honest, unique and well designed”.

Being a West Australian label can face some challenges, although Kat found that remaining anonymous was more difficult than she had realised – “Word got around so now I just go with it”. It was an intimidating experience for Kat at first as she found herself not only in a highly competitive industry, but also found exposing herself to some of her biggest critics (family and friends) difficult. Now, as seen through the success of PALM Swimwear, Kat can now see how lucky she is to have that drive and support behind her.

So where to from here? And what is next for PALM Swimwear? “We will be expanding from swimwear to resort wear. We are currently travelling in India and we will be working with silks and handwork to create exclusive edition pieces. We also aim to collaborate with other emerging designers. For instance we are working with WA graphic artist Janice Law to create a series of exclusive prints, which we are very excited to release within the next year.” – So exciting!!

Photography by Michelle Van Dijk

HMUA by Kat O’Hara

Styled by Kathleen Furey

By Steph Const